Are you having trouble finding the best AFO for foot drop?
Then you’ll want to check our buying guide to discover the best walking aids for foot drag.
Just keep on reading.
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IN A HURRY? HERE’S CHECK OUR TABLE
Best AFO for Foot Drop in 2021
A drop foot means that you have difficulties lifting the front part of the foot. As a result, you might drag the toes along the ground when you walk.
It’s not a disease but a result of an underlying medical condition, such as neurological disorders, nerve injury, muscle weakness, and brain/spinal cord problems.
Depending on the underlying issue, it might be a temporary condition or a permanent one.
In both cases, doctors might recommend splints or ankle-foot orthosis braces (AFOs) to keep your feet in the correct position.
Fortunately, technology has improved in recent years, so the best AFOs can vastly improve the quality of life and allow people to stand and walk as before.
In some cases, the best foot drop braces might also allow you to get back to jogging and regain stability of every moment.
However, finding the best foot brace for your needs might be a challenge. But that’s why we’re here to talk about the best AFO devices.
How to Choose the Best Drop Foot Braces? A Quick Buying Guide
AFO braces provide the essential support to correct the position of the feet and minimize flexion. They’re among the most common therapies doctors recommend for mild and moderate cases of foot drop.
Still, getting used to wearing AFO is a bit challenging. That’s why you should pay attention to the features of a product you are about to buy:
- Breathability. Wearing AFO splints in summer might make your feet and ankles hot and sweaty. You want AFOs made of breathable material to avoid overheating.
- Quality pads/straps. They prevent rubbing and reduce the discomfort when walking.
- Quality material. You want AF0s made of durable material so that it doesn’t break or rub your legs sore.
- Stability. The best AFOs for foot drop keep your feet stable without compromising the ease of movement.
- Visibility. You can wear some AFOs inside your shoes if you don’t want people to know about your condition.
- Solid vs. hinged. Hinged AFOs give you greater freedom of movement.
- Extras. Some AFOs might have ventilation holes to reduce sweating.
If you don’t have experience wearing an AFO brace, it will take time for your feet to get used to it. So, don’t despair if there are no immediate effects.
The Best AFO for Foot Drop – Feature and Price Comparison
- Medium Size Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) Support for Foot Drop by MARS WELLNESS
MARS Wellness has been a leader in the field of medical supplies and equipment for years, so it’s not surprising that their product is among our picks.
Their AFO features a 3/4 footplate for optimal flexibility and comfort for the toes. You can trim the thinner footplate easily with scissors to make it fit your favorite shoes.
Its anatomical design prevents calcaneus (heel) pain/irritation and compensates for atrophy, and provides lateral stability and dorsiflexion assistance to ensure a proper position.
More importantly, MARS Wellness’ AFO supports the entire foot-ankle area and has a padded hook-and-loop strap to prevent irritations and blisters.
Thanks to the straps, it’s easy to secure the AFO on your feet, and the streamlined profile also ensures that the AFO fits most types of shoes.
The MARS Wellness braces are available in several different sizes and are suitable for both men and women.
- Provides lateral stability and support
- Anatomical design
- For mild and moderate foot drop
- Versatile shoe fit
- Adjustable size
- Great for nerve palsy condition and heel cord tightness
- A padded strap
- It might be visible
- Requires time to get used to it
- Soft AFO Drop Foot Brace by Furlove
Best Price Pick
This soft AFO brace by Furlove deserves our attention because it provides ease of movement, stability, and comfort.
This model is free size, meaning that it fits most adult feet, so you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong size.
One of Furlove’s main advantages is that the ankle wrap is made of breathable, 3-layer material for comfort and sweat reduction.
The rest of the brace is made of velvet cloth, sponge, plastic sheet, and nylon.
You can wear the AFO for long periods of time without worrying about blisters, skin irritation, or sores. It’s so well-cushioned that you won’t even notice it’s there!
Furthermore, you can use these braces with laced shoes, slip-on shoes, or even barefoot, thanks to the interchangeable inserts and removable sole!
Moreover, Furlove’s assistive devices are completely adjustable thanks to the magic paste closure and the contact buckles. It’s easy to pun on/off, which is what you might need while in recovery.
But what users love about Furlove is that the company gives you aand lifetime technical support!
- Excellent support and firmness
- Easy to put on
- Made of breathable foam material and pleasant velvet cloth
- Lifetime guarantee
- The velcro strap doesn’t stick well, according to users.
- Drop Foot Brace (Left Foot – L/XL) by Step-Smart
Best Overall Pick
Restoring your natural gait is no longer mission impossible thanks to Step-Smart and their innovative product that provides functionality and comfort at the same time.
Step-Smart offers you a highly energy-efficient and competitive brace for foot drag.
It features a natural toe break, a 3/4 footplate to retain feeling and flexibility in the toes, and bumpers for individualized resistance.
But Step-Smarts beat the competition with their excellent shock-absorption and Jacob Joint technology. It strives to give you freedom of movement while keeping your foot stable.
Step-Smart design providesat the right time – at the second when your heel fits the ground to avoid damage and injury to your feet and ankles.
The bumpers also provide three resistance levels that allow people with foot problems to find the right combination for their individual needs.
This AFO low-profile brace is also lightweight, easy to wear, and available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. It’s the perfect choice for people dealing with severe calcaneus pain and trauma.
However, some users complain that the Step-Smart model doesn’t fit their shoes/boots and causes blisters.
- ¾ footplate allows easy and comfortable walking
- S/M/L/XL size
- Jacob Joints design shock absorption at heel strike
- Durable bumpers
- Easy to use
- Not very comfortable design
- It doesn’t fit all shoe styles
- Not the cheapest option
- Foot Drop Splint AFO Brace (M-Left) by Orthomen –Quality production pick
Stroke recovery patients who have mobility problems could also benefit from this brace because it keeps the feet firm and stable.
Besides providing great medial/lateral support for the ankles, Orthomen also improves toe clearance and supports the entire foot area. It’s also beneficial for resisting spastic muscle tone, common in foot drop.
To give you the option to adjust the brace to your leg, the manufacturer designed a brace of thin footplate that is easy to trim with scissors.
Still, the thick polyurethane on the vertical aspect gives your legswhile walking. The padded hook-and-loop straps also ensure support around the calf.
Moreover, this AFO brace is light, durable, and available in four different sizes. Its streamlined profile also ensures that it fits most shoes.
- Adjustable to your calf
- Provides lateral stability and dorsiflexion assistance
- Supports entire foot and ankle
- Padded hook-and-loop straps
- Some of the customers find it too small for their feet.
- Soft AFO Foot Drop Brace by BraceAbility
BraceAbility has one of the best AFO for foot drop on the market that can help you walk without pain or discomfort.
The Ability brace is suitable for people with nerve disorder diagnosis, stroke, dorsiflexion injuries, or muscle disorders.
It alleviates foot and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, diabetic neuropathy, and Achilles tendonitis, speeding the healing process and restoring the natural gait.
Furthermore, the Brace Ability has a low-profile design with an open heel to enhance breathability and prevent sweating.
Moreover, this orthopedic sock is easy to adjust thanks to the long ankle strap. It’s made of medical-grade materials and features an improved toe box and an adjustable strap for a tight fit.
Another advantage is that you can wear it on either leg. You can sleep soundly at night because the AFO is light and doesn’t compromise blood circulation.
The Ability sock is available in small, medium, and larger sizes. The manufacturer recommends that you check their size chart before making a purchase.
However, you can’t wear this soft AFO brace with shoes and can only walk around the house with it.
- Firmly holds your foot in the right position.
- Low profile
- Dorsiflexion control
- Made of durable polypropylene plastic
- Breathable, open heel design
- Available in all sizes
- Not suitable for severe foot drop conditions
- Not the cheapest option
- You can’t wear it with shoes
Just imagine how time-consuming it would be to search among all of the AFO braces online and compare them.
That is why we made this list and reviewed some of the best braces at the moment, hoping that you will find the best AFO for foot drop for you.
All of the braces we reviewed are great in many ways for your medical condition. But one definitely stands out from the rest.
We are talking about the Step-Smart Drop Foot Brace because of the comfort and firmness it provides to the wearer.
The shock-absorption heel strike, breathable design, and lifetime guarantee are also among the reasons why Step-Smart is one step ahead of the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should you wear AFO?
It depends on what’s the underlying medical condition and if it’s reversible or not. Your doctor should be able to give you an accurate prognosis.
Can I run with an AFO brace?
Most braces are designed for walking and can break if you try to run with them. Fortunately, there are running AFO splints that allow you to run.
Can I drive with a foot drop brace?
You could, but most specialists don’t recommend it, especially if you have a severe case. Moreover, your insurance might be invalid if you drive with an orthosis.
Can you prevent foot drop?
Activities that compress the peroneal nerve increase the chances of developing foot drag. Avoid prolonged kneeling and crossing your legs too often.
Breaking a leg and wearing a cast for a prolonged period of time can also increase the likelihood of drop foot.
Now that you overviewed our list of reviews, we hope it will be easy to decide which the best AFO for foot drop is.
Wearing an AFO brace might affect your daily routine, but it will be much easier to stand, walk, and even jog. It can help you return to normal life and speed up the healing process.
The best AFO for foot drop also provides you with convenience, support, and comfort. It helps you manage the symptoms of foot drop and return to normal life.
What do you think about these 5 best AFO braces for foot drop? Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comment section.